It's harder than it looks, right? Sewing that neckband in a top from knit fabrics. Either it turns out too large or too small... Well, here's how we do it!
If you're making a t-shirt, bodice or any other kind of top out of knit fabrics (fabrics that have stretch), and you want to finish the neckline with a band, you can start by sewing both shoulder seams.
After the shoulder seams have been sewn, measure the neckline. Use a tape measure and place it in the neckline upended and measure the entire circumference of the neckline.
Here's the important part. The neckband's circumference will be shorter than the neckline's, right? If you think of the neckline as the black circle below, and the neckband as the green circle, it's easier to understand that the neckband will need to be shorter.
How much shorter? Well that depends on your fabric. On this shirt we'll be using a ribb fabric that has about 70-80 % stretch. For that amount of stretch, we recommend to make the band about 75% of the neckline.
ARE YOU UNSURE ABOUT HOW TO EVALUATE THE STRETCH PERCENTAGE IN YOUR FABRIC? READ ALL ABOUT IT HERE.
If we were instead using jersey (cotton/lycra) or interlock for the neckband, with about 30-40% stretch, the neckband would need to be a little longer. In this case, about 85% of the neckline's circumference.
BRACE YOURSELF FOR SOME MATH ;)
So if our neckline is 40 cm, we'd take 40*0,75 = 30. There's the length of our neckband. We'll also add seam allowance, 1 cm at each side.
So 30 cm + 2 cm (seam allowance) = 32 cm. And for this childrens' shirt, approximately 4 cm wide is good for the neckband.
We'll cut a neckband that's 32 cm long and 4 cm wide.
3. PREPARE THE NECKBAND
Prepare the neckband by folding it right sides together and letting the short sides meet. Sew the short side with 1 cm seam allowance. Now the circumference of the sewn neckband is 30 cm.
Here's how we did this step with another neckband:
Fold the neckband over itself so that wrong sides meet. Press.
Place the neckband inside the neckline, right sides together, and with the folded side inwards, let raw edges meet. Remember that the neckband is shorter than the neckline? Ours is only 75% of the neckline's cirumference. So now we need to stretch it. Make sure to stretch evenly.
Sew all the way around. Don't stretch the main fabric, only the neckband. Here we've used a serger (overlock). But if you're using a sewing machine instead, sew with a zig zag stitch or other stretch stitch.
Afterwards, press the seam allowance away from the neckband (downwards).
Eager to try this yourself?
How about with our FREE pattern, the Ester & Ebbe top? A shirt for boys and girls in sizes 74-146 (approx. 6-9 months to 11 years).
Or the Linnéa top for women? An easy sewing pattern suitable for beginners.
Or browse our collection for other kids' and women's patterns.
Ps. the super cute jersey fabric in these photos is from Swedish designer Tygdrommar.